Other Universities Join Wits Protests
Universities such as the University of Cape Town, University of Pretoria and University of Free State have joined the Wits protest and are standing up against the police force. Higher Education protests became even louder following the death of an innocent bystander this week as a result of a police bullet.
Students from other Universities in different parts of South Africa are now joining the Wits protest.
University of Cape Town students are protesting due to the lack of funds at NSFAS which brought upon issues in registration for students. They also protesting to have their cries on student accommodation issues heard.
Students have moved to the fees office demanding that UCT allows them to register. They also went to the different faculties.
They are pleading with the University to assist students who are under financial strain.
A number of students urged the police to stay away from the protest following the violence, and resulting death, seen during the Wits protests. More and more South Africans are now stating that police brutality is rife and a major issue int the country, particularly against Black South Africans.
Students have said that them not being able to register is a huge setback for them.
They are not only expressing anger to the police force but also to members of the media as they were barred from these protests and meetings.
UCT students held a mass gathering yesterday and were expecting the Vice-Chancellor to pitch but when that didn't happen, they were disappointed.
At the University of the Free State, 24 students were arrested on Thursday during protests over registration challenges.
UFS students blockaded the Nelson Mandela drive next to the campus and it's been reported that police used stun grenades to disperse the protestors.
Students then moved their protest outside the Magistrate's Court.
The University's Student Representative Council (SRC) said:
When students wanted to enter campus to get academic advising, we were met outside with private security who continuously threaten us and violently assault students outside and inside campus.
Students are demanding that they be allowed to register and that NSFAS allocates funds to students. If you owe the University R20 000 or below, you're allowed to register. They are then calling for the historic debt to be wiped.
The University has said that they want to put the students needs first.
University of Pretoria students have also joined the Wits protests as they marched to the Higher Education Department's Head Office.
The University's SRC said:
What is currently happening is unacceptable ... Even the matter of students not having funding to continue on with this year is unacceptable.
They are now calling for the postponement of the academic year to allow students to register.
"We reject financial exclusions. It shouldn't be that an academically achieving student is unable to register."
Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, said on Thursday that there are plans for Universities to make debt agreements with students who have historic debt but perform well academically.
The issue of students not being able to register due to outstanding fees has been an ongoing struggle with protests against the issue surfacing annually.
The situation at the Wits protests are said to have now calmed down.
Wits students were protesting to demand the University allows students who are financially excluded and can't afford to pay fees to register.
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